Quality accessories at low prices, so the online shopping giant presents the AmazonBasics selection that it sells in person through its store. A CNN investigation now sheds light on the safety aspects of these products that can be traced back to the categories of information technology and home electronics. The indictment is harsh: despite the numerous reports of defects – in some very serious cases – the sale has not been completely stopped.
Certainly you cannot make a bundle of all the grass, because the AmazonBasics store has over 5,000 products, but the CNN investigation – it is specified that it is concentrated on the US Amazon store – has identified no less than 1,500 reviews published since since 2016 and related to over 70 AmazonBasics products that had serious operating problems:
products that explode, catch fire, emit smoke, melt, cause electrical failure, or present other types of hazards
reads the report.
Some of the offending items (including for example USB cables, microwave ovens, devices to protect against power surges) have been removed from the catalog, but others – about thirty – remain on sale. Amazon confirmed that at least eight of those reported had been investigated, but in all cases the Company deemed the security requirements met.
In the face of numerous negative reviews, Amazon has issued only 2 official recalls, while there are 10 reports sent to the US Federal Security Commission that call into question the devices under discussion for problems similar to those reported in the reviews. Yet the testimonies accompanied by photos do not go unnoticed.
Images taken from Amazon.com customer reviews of AmazonBasics products: From left to right, a USB cable generated a fire, smoke from a car charger, problems with a microwave oven, fires on power strips, lightning cable overheated and loose, socket with overheated surge protection
On the user side, the review remains one of the main indicators for judging the quality of a product – net of fake ones – and a negative one can be an indicator of more or less serious defects. The perspective of the store managers, however, is different: the review, says Amazon, is only one of the parameters that can start the path that ends with the recall, the definitive withdrawal or the redesign of the product, but the data is combined with that of the history of sales, returns and reports to the assistance service.
The investigation also reveals some background to the AmazonBasics line. According to information provided by former employees of the Company, most of the products come from Asia, 50% from China and only about 10% from the United States.
Amazon in some cases has direct relationships with the manufacturer to develop the device, imposing its safety standards; in others it finds an existing product and works with a third party company to bring it to market under the AmazonBasics brand. In this second case, the third company could use its own manufacturer, and Amazon would have less information on the production process and would be less involved in quality and safety tests. This is a must since Amazon replies that the methods for assessing compliance with security standards are the same regardless of the supply channel.
We recommend reading the original investigation (link in SOURCE) to deepen aspects of a story that remains delicate, since it involves objects with respect to which the final consumer may have a greater propensity to purchase being branded directly by Amazon.
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